Living in the world of the newest information and communication technologies has changed the lives of ordinary people. Today, they do not have to leave their homes to communicate with their friends and make new acquaintances, buy goods or promote their own business, obtain education or gain assistance in educational issues. What if I told you that Facebook can cope with all these tasks at once, and does it effectively?
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The purpose of this study was to choose a specific social media platform and define what powerful benefits it has on the people in my local area. First of all, I would like to highlight that the people of my local area are those who are the closest to me, whom I can see and communicate with on a daily basis. These are my peers. This decision was obvious because, with their help, I could define what are the benefits that they receive from using Facebook. Moreover, I wanted the insight to be fresh and modern that is why I have asked people my age to help me. What I want to stress on is that they use the social network daily and are close to being called social network addicts. Together with that, they managed to turn Facebook into an instrument for achieving their set goals.
As the basis for my research, I decided that I needed to make some investigation on the subject with the aim of defining the reasons for Facebook’s popularity with young people. Second, I believed that I should first define the theoretical benefits of the social network and then seek for approving them from my friends’ words. Let me begin with one simple fact from the statistics: average American spends about 40 minutes a day checking his Facebook account (“7 Powerful Facebook Facts for Business Owners“ par. 4). It means that it is a popular social network, and what I believe is that it owes its popularity with young people to the fact that it was launched by the students, who knew how to make something attractive to people like them. I learned that Facebook grants its constant users three powerful benefits: communication, education, and business.
The initial goal of Facebook was to create a platform for communicating and making new acquaintances. It is the first powerful benefit the social network gives to its users – it enhances their social lives (Gafni and Deri 46). One of my friends, let us call him John for the sake of anonymousness, said that Facebook builds up his social capital through the amount of friends he has there. He believed that he owes his popularity to the number of people who follow him and read his wall. Bearing in mind that social capital is based on the outcomes of various relationships with other people and their structure (Johnston et al. 25), I agree with John that Facebook adds to it, however, I would not want to amplify about the quality of this capital. I will just admit this fact.
Another my friend, I will call her Ann, did not get into details and ink-horn terms. All she said is that this social network is a perfect way to keep in touch with old friends, especially when you are busy or out of town, and make new acquaintances based on mutual interests. However, she brought up an interesting item – the issue of hashtags. Ann told me that it is the most powerful benefit that Facebook could give her because she has met many interesting people simply by browsing the hashtags. I like her point of view. Together with John, they approved that Facebook is an effective platform for communication and making new acquaintances.
Except for communication purposes, this social network is often used for obtaining assistance with educational matters. One of my interviewees, let us call her Cathleen, said that she is not a Facebook-addict. The reason for checking her account frequently is because she gets plenty useful information regarding studying from the posts of her friends and professors. Indeed, Facebook has become a social platform for expressing opinions that very often might be significant in obtaining the education. For example, professors can post notes with useful information from the lectures or for the new course as well as the users have an opportunity to consult with each others or their teacher without leaving homes, so, it saves a lot if time (Gafni and Deri 55-56). Of course, there might be a matter of concern arising from the amount of time spent for browsing Facebook, even if the initial purpose was academic, but it is a whole new story. Facebook has proved that it can be an efficient platform for exchanging information.
Finally, this social network has become a frequently used instrument for doing business. It was long ago that business has moved to the electronic sphere, but its shift to the dimension of social networking is something new. One of my peers, let us call him Mike, said that Facebook is a perfect marketing tool. He mentioned something similar to John’s concept of social capital but in the aspect of making business. Mike told that what has become popular is announcing discounts for the followers of particular Facebook profiles belonging to sales companies. Moreover, he said that it is an incredible tool for promoting business, especially start-up. The reason for Facebook’s popularity is this sphere is that when people like some profiles, they share its posts, and it become well known. Another way of promoting the company is promising the friend who shared the story of successful cooperation with it a discount for the next purchase (Bradley par. 6). The strategies with price reductions really work.
Finally, the last but not the least opinion regarding Facebook’s powerful benefits is that of Carol, another my interviewee. She stated two precious points at once. First, she claimed that Facebook is a low-cost but productive marketing strategy. Indeed, all the company needs is the person who will work on promoting the business without spending thousands of dollars on advertising. In addition, together with the number of everyday logins and bearing in mind previously mentioned strategies for promoting business, Facebook is a perfect marketing tool (“Benefits of Facebook for Business” par. 2). Second, Carol mentioned what is even more important than promoting business – finding new customers. In fact, it can be easily achieved by sharing the basic information about the company and the goods and services it offers and share them by means of, for example, hashtags or ads (Patel par. 7).
So, my friends whom I interviewed helped me to realize that what is written about the powerful benefits of Facebook is indeed true. At least, their experiences demonstrate that this social network enhances communication and help in making new acquaintances, is effective for reaching educational objectives, and as well is a perfect tool for promoting business. Bearing it all in mind, I do believe that it is not the maximum of the Facebook’s potential and that in the nearest future, the development team will offer new options for using this social network for improving our everyday lives.
7 Powerful Facebook Facts for Business Owners. 2016. Web.
Benefits of Facebook for Business. 2014. Web.
Bradley, Tony. Three Ways Business Can Take Advantage of Facebook Places. n.d. Web. 2016.
Gafni, Ruti, and Moran Deri. “Costs and Benefits for Undergraduate Students.” Interdisciplinary Journal of information, Knowledge, and Management 7.1 (2012): 45-61. Print.
Johnston, Kevin, Maureen Tanner, Nishant Lalla and Dori Kawalski. “Social Capital: The benefit of Facebook ‘Friends’.”Behavior & information Technology 32.1 (2013). 24-36. Print.
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Patel, Rajesh. What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Facebook. 2015. Web.